Forge Mill Needle Museum, Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre, Redditch, Worcestershire

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Forge Mill Needle Museum, Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre
IN THE NEWS - 2012

November 2012: Museum plays host to Victorian craft fair

Museum operations supervisor Petrina Muscroft tries on the stocking for size. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

An old-fashioned style Christmas will be brought to life at Forge Mill as the museum hosts its Victorian craft fair.

The event will run this weekend (December 1 and 2) from 11am to 4pm with a variety of stalls selling unique gifts for all the family.

Entertainment will be on offer from Alcester Victoria Silver Band and Indigo Arts, with a demonstration of Victorian liquorice making and a chance to visit Father Christmas between 11am and 3pm.

Entrance is free for children and £1 for adults.

Redditch Standard, 30 November 2012

September 2012: Hundreds take trip down memory lane

Petrina Muscroft, museum operations supervisor, goes back to basics. Picture by Neville Collins.

More than 380 people enjoyed taking a trip into Redditch's past as part of National Heritage Open Day.

Redditch Local History Society joined forces with staff at Forge Mill Needle Museum to mark the national celebration of England's past.

Visitors enjoyed free tours of the Bordesley Abbey site and Needle Mill Lane museum as well as learning more about the society's Lost Redditch Project, which attempts to build up a picture of the numerous streets and landmarks lost during the 1970s when the Kingfisher Centre was built. There were also other exhibits from local historians and the chance for people to ask questions.

Derek Coombes, from the society, said a number of people had come forward with interesting photographs and memories which they would document and form part of the project.

The event was one of several across Redditch and Alcester which took place over the weekend and saw the public invited into buildings they are not normally allowed access to or attractions waive admission fees.

Redditch Standard, 14 September 2012

September 2012: Top textile artists

Jo-Ann Gloger, keeper of collections at Forge Mill which is hosting a quilting exhibition. Picture by Neville Collins.

Top textile artists from around the country will be showing off their oriental themed designs at a Forge Mill exhibition.

The event runs from today (Friday) to October 21 at the museum, with a chance to meet the artists tomorrow (Saturday) from 1pm to 3pm to talk about the techniques they used and what inspired them most.

Keeper of collections Jo-Ann Gloger said: "This is a great opportunity to see some fantastic quilting and at the same time learn from the experts about what's needed to make an outstanding quilt."

Redditch Standard, 7 September 2012

August 2012: Encouraging model behaviour

Debbie Lakeman has a close encounter at Forge Mill. Picture by Neville Collins.

There will be something to crow about this weekend as Forge Mill Needle Museum hosts its annual scarecrow day.

Running from 11am to 5pm on Sunday (August 26), the event will see a host of characters made by residents judged by Redditch mayor Alan Mason.

The winner will receive a £75 Kingfisher Shopping Centre voucher, with £50 and £25 for those coming second and third respectively. Other activities include face painting, craft stalls, pony rides, a Punch and Judy show and a Samba band.

Coun Luke Stephens, portfolio holder for leisure and tourism at Redditch Borough Council, said: "Scarecrow day is a popular fixture in our summer events' calendar and there will be plenty of fun throughout the day to keep the whole family entertained."

Entry to the event is free and there will be reduced entry to the museum itself on the day (adults £2 children £1).

Redditch Standard, 24 August 2012

August 2012: Catering is top class

Class Catering at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

Visitors to Forge Mill Needle Museum can now enjoy top quality food and drink after Class Catering won a contract to be the on-site caterers.

Class Catering, which has its headquarters in Stoke Prior, is one of the county's main suppliers of schools catering, having been awarded more than 75 contracts. The Forge Mill contract is a new venture for the firm, which has never provided its services on a heritage site before.

The café-bar is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am until 4pm.

For details, call Gillian Crawley on 01527 62509.

Redditch Advertiser, 22 August 2012

July 2012: Blockbuster props at museum

Barry Chandler, from Pop Up Exhibitions, works on a samurai archer. Picture by Ian Dipple.

Costumes and props from Oscar-nominated blockbuster The Last Samurai have gone on display in Redditch.

The armour, weapons and clothes - which have never been displayed in the UK before - are currently being exhibited at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

The props form part of a Samurai - The Way Of The Warrior exhibition revealing the truths behind the mysterious ninja and a range of real samurai artefacts.

Coun Luke Stephens, responsible for leisure and tourism at Redditch Borough Council, said: "We're very excited to be holding the first exhibition in the UK of these amazing costumes and props. It's a real coup for the museum and for Redditch."

Entry is included in the normal admission price to the museum, but for Redditch residents on a Wednesday only, when normal entrance is free, there is a separate charge of £2 for adults and £1 for children. The exhibition runs until September 3.

Redditch Standard, 27 July 2012

July 2012: Town makes a blooming good effort to win gold

Blooming great - Heart of England In Bloom judges Nicola Clarke, Mike Garwood and Mayor Alan Mason inspect the flowers at Forge Mill. Picture by Ian Dipple.

Redditch was looking its blooming best as the town bids for gold again in this year's Heart of England In Bloom contest.

Judges were given a tour of the borough last Friday (July 20) to see for themselves the hard work carried out all year round by the team from Redditch Borough Council and the community.

After a presentation at the Palace Theatre the judges were taken on a walk through the town centre before visiting the team at Where Next Association and Forge Mill to see the restoration outwork on the Bordesley Abbey site. They also learnt more about a project to create an outdoor classroom area at St Stephen's First School and a community education scheme at Winyates Green Allotments.

Other work highlighted to the judges included the Diamond Jubilee flower bed at the rail-way station, wildflower seed planting with children from Feckenham First School and orchard planting in Astwood Bank.

But the contest, part of Britain In Bloom, does not just focus on floral displays and the Redditch bid team are hoping work done with the community to carry out litter picks, the installation of solar panels on some of the council's buildings and the scheme to convert waste energy from the crematorium to heat the new Abbey Stadium, impressed the judges.

The borough council does not allocate specific funds to the In Bloom bid, instead it forms part of the normal landscaping budget and is supported by sponsorship from a number of town businesses.

Last year Redditch won gold and Chris Franklin, landscape and grounds maintenance officer at the council, said he hoped they could retain that status.

"It's been more of a challenge this year because of the weather so if we could retain what we had last year then it would be an even bigger achievement," he added.

Judge Nicola Clarke said she was particularly impressed with the community art scheme introduced to prevent vandalism of bus shelters, which she labelled 'outstanding'.

"It's always a pleasure to be back in Redditch and see the improvements and the hard work done by the team and the community to help make Redditch a better place to live."

Redditch will find out in September if it has been successful.

Redditch Standard, 27 July 2012

July 2012: Opportunity for 'trip' to Far East

Barry Chandler from Pop Up Exhibitions with some of the Samurai armour.

There's an opportunity to take a trip to the Far East without leaving Redditch this summer, with the arrival of a new exhibition Samurai - The Way of the Warrior at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

The exhibition is open and will remain at the museum until Monday, September 3, featuring a range of Oscar-winning armour, weapons, costumes and props from the Tom Cruise blockbuster movie The Last Samurai.

Visitors will be able to discover the origins of the Samurai, and their warrior code of Bushido, as well as having the opportunity to get hands-on with a few of the exhibits.

Councillor Luke Stephens, portfolio holder for leisure and tourism at Redditch Council, said: "We're very excited to be holding the first exhibition in the UK of these amazing costumes and props."

Entry is included in the normal admission price to the museum, although on Wednesdays, when entry to the museum is usually free for Redditch residents, there will be a charge of £2 for adults and £1 for children to visit the exhibition.

Redditch Advertiser, 25 July 2012

June 2012: Festival brings the past to life

Forge Mill will be transporting people back in time.

Forge Mill Museum is to host its annual Mediaeval Festival this weekend.

The museum, owned and operated by Redditch Council, is hosting the festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, from 11am - 4pm when visitors can experience life hundreds of years ago as well as be entertained mediaeval-style.

Re-enactment group Company Ecorcheur are setting up a knights' encampment for the weekend to provide an authentic experience. Visitors will be able to wander among the tents finding out about cooking and crafts as well as learning about the drill and arming of military men.

There will also be a jester who will entertain throughout the day, culminating in a fire show at the end of each day.

The event promises to provide something a bit different for the weekend and admission prices are £2.50 for adults, £1 for children and £5 a family.

Redditch Advertiser, 20 June 2012

May 2012: Battle between the Gladiators

Members of the Vicus bring the past to life.

Forge Mill hosted its first Roman-themed event at the weekend to celebrate the opening of its new Colosseum exhibition.

The Roman Gladiators weekend featured gladiatorial displays performed by re-enactment group, the Vicus.

As well as witnessing the gladiator combat, visitors could view the Roman encampment and find out more about everyday life.

The Colosseum exhibition is on display from now until Monday, July 16 and tells the story of this famous symbol of Roman power. Visitors will also be able to discover more about the lives of the gladiators who fought there.

The exhibition will feature the model of the Colosseum used in the BBC programme of the same name, as well as an interactive aspect, which explores the building from different angles.

Entry into the Colosseum exhibition is at normal museum admission rates and is free to Redditch residents on Wednesdays.

Redditch Advertiser, 2 May 2012

April 2012: Fun exhibition at Forge Mill

Luke Henning with son at Forge Mill.

People are invited to a fun exhibition of mediaeval machines at Forge Mill.

Perfect for all the family, the exhibition features interactive elements for the more curious and hands-on enthusiasts.

Entry is included in the normal admission price. However, for residents, on Wednesdays (when museum entrance is normally free) there is a charge of £2 for adults and £1 for children.

The exhibition runs until Sunday, April 22.

Redditch Advertiser, 18 April 2012

April 2012: Blue tits treat for birdwatchers

Museum operations supervisor Petrina Muscroft keeps an eye out for the blue tits. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Birdwatchers are in for a treat this spring as they get the chance to see Redditch's latest attraction up close and personal.

A pair of blue tits have set up home in a new bird nesting box on the barn at Forge Mill, which has been fitted with CCTV so visitors can see live pictures of the feathered duo from a television within Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre.

The birds' activities will be on show from 11am to 4pm during the week and 11am to 3.30pm at weekends.

Manager Gillian Crawley said: "So far visitors can see the birds are preparing for the nesting season as they have already lined the box with moss and downy feathers to make it warm and snug for the new arrivals, which we expect to be here quite soon.

"It is amazing and extremely enjoyable to watch the ins and outs of this new little family as well as being very educational, particularly for children."

Admission is free but normal charges apply to the rest of the attraction.

Redditch Standard, 6 April 2012


Forge Mill and Bordesley Abbey are frequently featured in newspaper and magazine articles, both locally and nationally.

With the permission of the publishers, we hope to include interesting articles and photographs on this page, which will grow as time goes by.